GameCube Index Episode 55: International Superstar Soccer 2

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International Superstar Soccer 2 was a Europe-only release for the GameCube on May 3, 2002. However, this isn’t the first time the title was released. It was originally put out for the PS2 back in June of 2000 as Jikkyo World Soccer 2001. Now, you might be thinking: “Hey, didn’t we talk about a little game called Jikkyo World Soccer 2002 back in episode 38? I’m getting sort of confused here.” Well, fear not my friend, because here’s a poorly made chart to lay it all out for us.

Jikkyo World Soccer 2001 was released for the PS2 in June 2000, then Jikkyo World Soccer 2002 was released for the GCN (and other platforms) in March of 2001, and then JWS2001 was localized in Europe as International Superstar Soccer 2 for the GameCube in May of 2002, which is where we find ourselves today. To push it even farther, JWS2002 was localized to Europe as International Superstar Soccer 2 in May of 2003, but since that’s the same as JWS2002, I’m not going to retread the same content for a new video. Whew, now that we’ve got all of that out of the way, let’s continue.

ISS2 sticks pretty close to the formula set by its predecessors, but it gives you more control over your play options than other soccer games thus far. By default, it’s frustratingly automated, with the CPU taking control of player switching and directional controls. But by adjusting some of the menus, you can take back the reigns and actually run around the field like you’re supposed to. This makes it a heck of a lot easier to control than Jikkyo World Soccer 2002, but I’m going to chalk that up to my inability to navigate the Japanese menus last time.

For the most part, this seems fun, but a bit more rudimentary than the next entry in the series was. It’s pretty strange to describe it as such, due to the strange and out of order way of covering the games, but the graphics are nearly there, the physics are basically the same, and the gameplay is pretty much identical. Character creation is definitely watered down compared to what it will become in the next entry – it’s barely even there. But, there is a huge amount of teams to play as and unlock; depending on who you take through the International Cup, you can unlock 9 additional legacy and all-star team lineups.

There wasn’t a whole ton of groundbreaking going on with International Superstar Soccer 2. It was the lesser loved of Konami’s soccer titles, second to Pro Evolution, and it didn’t stand out that much from the other soccer titles on the GameCube. The most notable things about it were probably the crazy release schedule of the franchise, and it’s exclusivity to Europe. Konami would move on pretty quickly to Pro Evolution, before becoming a large pachinko company.

Did you ever play International Superstar Soccer 2? What did you think of it? What did you like or hate about the game?

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About Geoff Girardin

Geoff Girardin is the producer of GCNdex, a weekly series that covers every GameCube game in chronological order. He also helped make two tiny humans, and he eats so much that his wife is worried. You can follow him on Twitter @geoffgirardin, or keep up with his experience with fatherhood on geoffgirardin.com.

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